A Fresh View: Achieving Balance

Hi everyone! My name is Jee Won Diane Kang and I’ll be your correspondent for A Fresh View this year. This column will chronicle some of my experiences as a freshman at Brown, and will include the highs and lows of that incredible journey.

Welcome back to A Fresh View!

This week I’d like to talk about the importance of learning to balance academics and extracurricular activities. It’s something that has been slow-going for me, and I just want to share some things that I’ve learned this past week, which has been a particularly difficult one.

So buckle in and let us talk about the importance of self-care and balance.

This week was really stressful because of a slew of midterms I had to take and papers I had to write. Midterms in college are completely different from the ones in high school. At least at my high school, midterms for all your classes are at the same time (usually a span of 2-3 days). In college, all your classes have midterms at different times and they’re usually set up in a horrible cycle that never gives you a chance to recover from one midterm to the next. I never realized just how horrible it would be to not really ever get a break: your classes are not connected to each other in the slightest, and it’s not like you can put off the work in one of your other classes to study for a midterm. A hard lesson to swallow is that life never stops, not for you or for anyone else.

Does that mean that you aren’t allowed to fall? Of course not; you are definitely allowed to fail. Just because life doesn’t stop doesn’t mean that you need to always keep up with it 100% of the time. Believe it or not, nobody has their life together, even the people that you definitely think have their lives together. We’re all in the same boat, and we all need to be nice to each other and treat ourselves when life is hard.

This week, I was unfortunately forced to drop one of the extracurricular activities that I really liked doing because it was too much on my schedule. I felt really bad, but when I talked about it, they were super chill with me taking some time away and coming back when I felt more in control of my life. One of the things you learn at Brown is the importance that everyone places on taking care of yourself, whatever form that may take. Honestly, Brown is such a caring and compassionate place, filled with some of the most sympathetic and understanding people in the world. Don’t ever be afraid to admit that your life is going up in flames: chances are, someone else has gone through exactly what you’re going through and will totally be willing to help douse the fire.

And as Dumbledore says: Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.

My happiness this week came in the form of cookies and cream soft-serve from the VDub.

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So don’t ever be afraid to treat yourself, and know that in the end: it’s all going to be okay.

I’ll see you lovelies next week~

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments! You can reach me at jee_won_kang@brown.edu.

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